by The Source
OLD Mutual will construct 15 000 low-income housing units over five years at a cost of $62 million, the biggest such project in over two decades, a company official said on Tuesday.
“The purpose of the housing fund is a recognition that there is a major and serious housing backlog in this country. There hasn’t been a housing development project for many years,” group chief executive, Jonas Mushosho told journalists during a tour of the project’s first phase in the Budiriro high density suburb of Harare.
At least 3,102 houses will be constructed in the suburb under a five-year project with the first phase of 1,584 houses expected to be completed next year.
Old Mutual-owned Central African Building Society (CABS) will administer the project along with the local municipality which will identify beneficiaries on the national housing list.
The houses cost between $22,000 and $27,000 with buyers expected to pay 25 percent deposit and the balance through monthly instalments at an interest of 12 percent per annum.
So far the roads, water and sewer reticulation systems are over 50 percent complete.
A five million litre water reservoir has also been constructed for the new suburb and surrounding communities.
The contracts to build the houses were awarded to small firms to build their capacity. Masimba Holdings got a contract to construct 208 houses, Big Nyati 150 units, Mutual Contractors 75 houses while Manifest will construct 100 units.
“All the contractors are progressing at impressive speed and are ahead of schedule. By end of this week we would have already exceeded our target of completing 200 houses,” Mushosho said.
Zimbabwe has a housing backlog of 1.5 million people, a third of which are in Harare.